Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Venture Brothers returns June 1st; and got leaked

Adult Swim's April Fool's joke this year was to leak rough cuts of Season 3 opener of Venture Brothers, and the premiere of a new show called Superjail. They are without music or special effects, no clean-up, but damn, are they still funny. Venture Brothers creator Jackson Publick mentioned on his blog that he was embarrassed that they showed the rough work, but it looks decent enough. If you missed the sneak previews, they are probably available at bays wherever pirates gather, or where isos go to hunt.

By the way, I've always liked that nom de plume. He jacks in public. Ha, ha. Anyway, from his blog:

Sucker Punch!

For those who don't know, adultswim has made an annual tradition of screwing around with their programming for April Fools' Day, and this year they chose to broadcast "rough cuts" of some of their shows--including The Venture Bros. So if you were lucky/cursed enough to be watching adultswim this past Sunday night (I was neither), you would have been witness to the first 11 minutes of episode #28 ("The Doctor Is Sin") in its rawest form: a low resolution, straight-from-Korea "first take" with no sound effects, no music, and a ton of mistakes. Notorious perfectionist control freaks that we are, Doc and I were...somewhat less-than-thrilled when we heard the news (and even less than less-than-thrilled to have learned it from the viewers, not the network, and only after the fact). To us it was the psychological equivalent of having naked pictures of ourselves circulated on the internet. At first anyway. I've since warmed to the idea--because it reminds me that Adult Swim is a silly network that takes chances and has fun with itself, when I could have been working for some average, boring, anal network. Plus, if the message boards are to be trusted, you all seem to think we look nice naked...

Ironically, we turned the fully finished version of that self-same episode in the very next day. There are horror stories to tell about the production mishaps that plagued it from script to final cut (and all points in between), but those can wait to be bitched about until it airs for real...

Anyway, the aforementioned production problems and a couple of untimely flus have put us slightly behind in post-production. We've fully completed three episodes to date, we're currently editing picture on the fourth (its next stop is the sound engineer), and we'll be starting the fifth this weekend. To give you an idea of how screwy the production order is this season, the first episode we turned in (#27) is going to air third or fourth, depending on how quickly we can rush #37--written eleventh and produced tenth, which we hope to air third but will probably air fourth--through post-production. The second episode we turned in (#29) was written third and produced second, but is going to air eleventh. The third (#28) was written second, produced third, and will air second. And #32, which was written and produced sixth--but will be edited fifth--is actually the premier episode of the season. I dare you to try to keep that kind of continuity conundrum straight in your head...

Somehow, in the midst of all of this, Doc and I are also expected to begin writing season 4 and producing the DVD set for the not-even-finished-yet season 3. And we've both been doing a little moonlighting--Doc's been making music and I'm doing some voices and a little writing for adultswim's forthcoming SuperJail series. It's been a busy month, yes...

And now, the News in brief...

ITEM: The Venture Bros. will premier on June 1st.

ITEM: Doc and I were interviewed in the sophomore issue of Comic Foundry magazine, which is now on the stands. Aside from a preoccupation with the recent "Stephen Colbert Incident" (and the fact that they refer to me as "Pollack" no less than three times), the 2 page spread provides a nice little preview of the upcoming season with only mild spoilers.

ITEM: Kid Robot has made some miniature Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend figurines, which will be available in mystery packaging along with like 16 other adultswim figurines. So good luck if you decide to buy one. Or two.

ITEM: Doc and I will be attending the Venture Bros. panel at the New York Comicon on Saturday, April 19th at 4:00pm. Urbaniak and Sinterniklaas will be joining us, and we're hoping to cajole a couple of other people into dancing into the fire with us. Honorary AstroBase Cadet Ken Plume will be moderating the festivities.

ITEM: Word has it we'll be attending the San Diego Comicon in July this year as well, adultswim having retracted their unofficial boycott. But it's too soon to know what we'll be doing there other than sweating and trying to find affordable Robert McGinnises.

Looks like we'll be seeing some old favorites and some new ones.

The opener is called "The Doctor is Sin," and involves Dr. Henry Killinger coming to help Dr. Venture turn his hapless attempts at running his father's superscience compound into success. Out of respect for JP and co., I won't post any screenshots here. They're unfinished anyway. The big stink in nerd-dom has been Stephen Colbert's refusal to voice Professor Impossible for the new season. James "Dr. Venture" Urbaniak put Colbert on notice, on his own board. Sorry to hear that Stephen is so busy that he has to leave the response to his minions. I find it odd that doing a half-hour show 4 days a week makes it unpossible to do a little voice work. He's doing voice work on next year's DreamWorks project, Monsters vs. Aliens, and maybe his manager is a prick. Either way, it's a shame that he's got time to do his Tek Jansen animated adventures and not Venture Brothers.

Before I forget, Superjail certainly has promise. I missed the pilot last year, but this one, "Superbar," was manic and bizarre. Sort of an insane Willy Wonka running a prison. The animation reminds me of Lynda Barry's stuff and it has a good edge to it. I'll need longer to see if the characters grow on me, but seeing a transexual juiced-up prison guard kill a giant squid with a ceiling fan is entertainment enough.

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